Facilities boost for tennis

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Mikia Kalati

The Lesotho Lawn Tennis Association (LLTA) on Tuesday unveiled three renovated courts in Maseru.

Among the dignitaries who attended the unveiling ceremony at the National Tennis Courts was Deputy Minister of Gender, Youth and Sports ‘Marefuoe ‘Muso, Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission president Khiba Mohoanyane and Lesotho National Olympic Committee president, Matlohang Moiloa Ramopoqo.

Speaking at the ceremony, LLTA president Kamohelo Hlomisi said the renovation was courtesy of funding from the International Tennis Federation and the sports ministry.

“We spoke with our Minister of Sports sometime last year and he promised to assist in the renovation of the courts and he has lived up to that promise,” Hlomisi said.

“The new-look courts will surely go a long way in improving the standards of the sport in our country as our players will be able to play under good facilities.

“Unfortunately, these courts are very expensive. This is why we only have them in Maseru but the plan is to also have them countrywide in the future.”

Hlomisi said the association was committed to developing tennis but its efforts were being hampered by lack of funds.

“It is not easy leading the association due to lack of funds and sponsorship, but we are committed to the development of the sport even under those circumstances,” he said.

On his part, Mohoanyane said what the tennis authorities had done was commendable.

“This is not the first time I have attended a ceremony of this nature and it shows the tennis leadership has been working hard in an effort to improve the sport,” Mohoanyane said.

“This is also proof that they are working together with the international tennis mother-body who have made a contribution in the renovation of the courts.

“I hope all our associations will follow suit in having good relations with international bodies as it is only through their assistance that our facilities could be improved.

“We have to keep knocking on their doors because they are all about giving a helping hand since they are aware of our struggles as developing countries.

“What is left now is for the players to continue honing their skills and bringing the country medals in big competitions.”

On her part, Deputy Minister ‘Muso said she was very proud to be at the ceremony and commended the tennis association for the good work.

“We know lack of facilities and resources is a big problem in our country and I believe it was not easy for the players and coaches to get it right using damaged facilities,” the deputy minister said.

“But I believe things will change for the better now because the courts have been improved and are in better condition.

“I know tennis is the one sport that has been doing us proud in big competitions and I hope this will be motivation for the players to come with more medals going forward.

“I’m also very happy that our Minister of Sports, Ntate Mathibeli Mokhothu delivered as promised as it is the responsibility of the government to empower its people.”

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